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Vittorio Storao, the filmmaker who tamed the light

The director of photography, the best in the world according to Francis Ford Coppola, reflects on his work with filmmakers such as Allen, Saura or Bertolucci and bets on the triumph of digital

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Vittorio Storao, the filmmaker who tamed the light
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  • Wagner, NO-Do and ' Apocalypse Now '
  • "By exhausting a path you must have courage to start again"

He says of him Francis Ford Coppola in his latest book which is best director of photography in history of cinema. The aforementioned, Vittorio Storao (Rome, 1940), who if not, sounds sincere on phone when he replies "Oh, my God" to compliment. "I work and work, little else I can say," he says. The myth, indeed, remains active: "Just over a month ago that I came back from new York, to be with Woody Allen", for whom he has made photograph of his last three films. And he hopes that his next film will be Cursed Spanish cinema project of last decades, Picasso and ' Guernica ', directed by Carlos Saura and Antonio Banderas as painter from Malaga. "has suffered many financial troubles. But we're all committed to film, and I hope we rode before end of this year. "

Enlarge photo Martin Sheen, in ' Apocalyse Now '.

Storao will be in Madrid today to participate in homage that is dedicating Spanish film library to Saura. Italian speaks with passion of Spanish. "I Love Blood Wedding trilogy, Carmen and Warlock love. They seemed unique, unsurpassed in career of anor filmmaker. I was called in Preproducion Flamenco because Carlos wanted to meet me. Soon after we met at Tokyo Festival. And since our first meeting was very clear his pictorial option for this documentary, I was very interested in what I posed. " Storato describes use of frames, approximation between abstract and geometric to visual atmosphere that surrounds dances. "Between two we create an atmosphere of sunset and nocturnal because those are hours of singers and dancers." The filmmaker devasted with meticulous details each sequence of that first collaboration of six that have joined Saura, of symbols that are hidden in each performance. "I felt such an epic and enjoyment in our common work, that I have never been able to reject ir proposals. We have always talked a lot and so we face so different challenges as Tango or Io, Don Giovanni. Each one of m required a paradigm shift. " And

Frame of ' Flamenco ' (1995), by Carlos Saura.

Delving into career of Storato is immersed in passion of his far. "I was projectionist at Lux Film Studios here in Rome. At age of eleven I started studying photography because he pushed me. I'm a product of my far's dreams, he managed to infect me with that love. " He has never, refore, thought of dedicating himself to anything else. "And that's why I keep working, because it's not a job." He combined studies with visits to museums, with detailed studies of paintings. And at 24 his footsteps crossed with those of Bernardo Bertolucci: The strategy of spider, conformist, moon, Last Tango in Paris... The first Oscar came to him with Apocalypse Now, by Coppola; The second by Reds, of Warren Beatty, and third with last emperor, of Bertolucci. "Each film reflects resolution of a conflict, that of light and darkness. And you handle infinite possibilities with light, with shadows and colors. Art is born when you succeed with your decisions in composition, movements and that light. " Storan seems to contradict himself n, when asked about fascinating similarity in planning and filming of Wagnerian sequence of Apocalypse Now of attack on a Vietnamese village of a squadron of helicopters with a German newscast on a German plane that appears in a NO-do of 1944. Both, with cavalcade of Valkyries at full rag. "I didn't know him. But I think I have explanation. That is one of three moments of that film that we shot knowing in advance music that would accompany him. And with idea that we wanted to film and with Wagner you can only put camera at a point. " Storao comes to heart of conversation: "Cinema is never reality, it is interpretation of reality. Movies are not pictures or sound. Movies are ideas. There is nothing more important, no dialogues, no formats or characters. Be clear concept, rest... nonsense. "

Farewell to Celluloid

The Italian is as clear about death of celluloid. "No doubt. Digital improves our work. From technology in filming to Postproducation or storage of images. Coppola also knew to see it and we tried to do something different on hunch. He proposed to roll it from flip, with all cameras available, to look for that new Naarrativa. I had to stop him: he was right but not at time. A couple of years later it would have been possible with robotic systems and high definition. Yes, celluloid is beautiful, but technology is leading us to anor world. I think it's better.  In 2010, after flamenco, flamenco, I stopped, studied possibilities, refresqué my approaches. There is no possible discussion. "

Will he still work with Allen? "If you refer to accusations, for me Woody is not a monster, but a victim. As for cinematographic, each director has his visual style, and never forget that y are telling his story. Now I carry three films with Allen, and I subordino to what he asks for. Many of Allen's films are born like so many or of Fellini's: from ir childhood memories. You know only thing that great directors share? They love what y do. "

The tragedy of film conservation

Vittorio Storao draws attention to second great tragedy that faces preservation of films. "First was race to preserve celluloid. Well, we're on it. But now we have record that digital files are not eternal, y are corrupted. People go wrong with computer eternity. In five years those files disappear. "

However, re is a solution. "I have sponsored a system that Kodak has developed to preserve digital cinema and in Madrid I will show it, because it is essential for cinemaques. It Llma DOTS (Digital Optical Technology System) and uses lasers for codficar data terabytes. Let's not waste time, apliquémoslo. "

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